Nottingham’s papillon dog ‘robodog’ recovers from injury

JUST over a week after a spaniel was savaged in a dog attack, leaving him unable to walk, a Nottingham vet has got him back on his feet again.

Dog owner Kathy Hart said that veterinary staff at Hucknall’s East Midlands Referrals have performed a miracle operation on her 11-year-old Papillon, Cody.

Retired Kathy, 86, from Aspley had taken Cody on holiday – along with her daughters Annette and Caroline and their partners – to Devon on Saturday, June 7.

They were celebrating Annette’s wedding anniversary but only minutes after they arrived the attack happened. It left Cody with a spinal injury requiring specialist surgery.

Annette, 59, of Chilwell, said: “I was just unpacking when there was an awful commotion.

“We thought he was gone, he was absolutely lifeless.

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“The vet told us that he was very lucky that the attack missed vital blood vessels.”

The other animal has been put down.

Cody was rushed to a nearby vet with blood pouring from his neck.

Annette, who is retired, added: “He wasn’t able to walk but at first we thought it must have been the anaesthetics or gas.

“We were told that we had to get him an MRI.”

The scan at the East Midlands Referrals surgery in Nottingham Road, Hucknall, found Cody had significant spinal damage.

On Wednesday, Cody underwent a ventral slot operation where tissue compressing against his spinal cord was removed.

The surgery requires pin-point precision drilling from the front of the neck and operating close to crucial blood vessels.

It’s a tricky operation on a dog as small as Cody said the vet who performed the surgery, Graham Oliver.

He said: “Cody had come within an inch of his life and the difficult thing with him is that he was a very small dog.

“We had to use a special treatment especially for tiny animals.”

Not only was the tissue removed but his spine had to be realigned with a tiny plate, held together by a set of screws no larger than those found in a pair of spectacles.

It was the first time that Mr Oliver had to perform the operation with such miniscule equipment.

Despite that, Cody pulled through and, less than a week after he was looking death in the eyes, he is now perkier than a puppy.

Owner Kathy said: “When I saw him with all his fur off it spooked me, but I’m sure it will grow back.

“I think it’s marvellous what the vet’s done; he’s a very clever man, I wish he could sort me out.”

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